Phillips Farm operation is a family run farm. Five generations of the family have grown up in the Germantown area. The family has farmed in Montgomery County since 1790 and in Maryland since 1649. Jean Phillips has been operating this farm since 1977. Over the years the operation of the farm has changed focus from milk producing to grain producing to vegetable producing.
Phillips Farm is a two hundred and fifty acre farm. We grow sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, snap beans, popcorn, pumpkins, vegetable bedding plants, and decorative corn. We grow for both wholesale and direct market sales.
In our attempt to grow the best crops possible, we use the integrated pest management (IPM) program sponsored by the University of Maryland. We examine our crops weekly. If the insect population has reached levels that will cause economic damage, we will spray the crop, resulting in the best produce with the least spraying. U. Of M. Cooperative Extension Services publishes the vegetable grower guide to give us the proper pesticide to use and the safety levels. We operate a black light trap for the State Agriculture Dept. This helps obtain a direct count of the number and types of insect in the area. We use a fertilizer service that soil tests all of our fields. The soil test, along with the past and present crop information and a check by a professional agronomist for current weed pressure is used to write an individual prescription for each field. We also have a soil erosion protection plan designed by the U.S. Soil Conservation Office to protect our farm. We use grass water ways, no-till planting, strip farm across hills and rotate crops to prevent soil erosion and nutrient leaching from our farm. We water our vegetables with trickle irrigation. This is a low-pressure system much like a soaker hose that puts water right at the plant's roots. It keeps the plant foliage dry thus reducing the need to control mold or mildew. The water requirements are much less than other types of irrigation putting fewer demands on the water reservoir and reducing water run off from irrigation to nearly zero. We are proud of the precautions we have taken to protect the environment while growing safe and damage free produce for our customers.
The vegetable stand on the farm has some added attractions. It has animals the customers can pet or buy (calf, goat, lamb, pig, ducks, turkeys, chickens and rabbits). There is a straw stack to climb on or pick your own flowers. The inside of the stand is decorated with Germantown historic pictures and artifacts. Joan Reynolds, a local artist, has pen and ink drawings of historic Germantown buildings on display.